Which is more important, the coffee you drink or the cup you drink it from? The choice is a difficult one for any aesthete to make, and it is only highlighted and intensified by famed Italian coffeemaker Illy, which, since 1933, has been producing one of the world's greatest espressos, and which, since 1992, has been commissioning limited-edition coffee cup designs from internationally renowned and emerging artists, musicians and filmmakers. If the story of the coffee begins with Francesco Illy in Trieste, the story of the cup begins in 1990 with architect and engineer Matteo Thun, who designed a white espresso cup to the exacting specifications of the Illy family. The volume and diameter had to be just so, the rim had to accept resting lips in a most practical manner, and the all-important bowl at the bottom of the cup had to conserve heat effectively. Once the prototype was approved, the family set about having it transformed with original work by the likes of Sandro Chia, Nam June Paik, James Rosenquist, Robert Rauschenberg, David Byrne, Francis Ford Coppola, Joseph Kosuth, Jeff Koons, Marina Abramovic, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Michel Comte, Jannis Kounellis and Louise Bourgeois. Good to the last drop--unless coffee isn't your cup of tea.